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Long-term precipitation reduction experiment in the Colorado Plateau - Survival and mortality data from 2010 to 2018

Data for journal manuscript: A new normal: interactive effects of drought and invasive species on dryland plant mortality


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Duniway, M.C., Geiger, E.L., and Hoover D.L., 2019, Long-term precipitation reduction experiment in the Colorado Plateau - Survival and mortality data from 2010 to 2018: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


From 2011-2018 USGS biologists recorded vegetation and biological soil crust (BSC) cover by species and tracked survival of tagged individual plants (388 in total) across 40 locations where paired experimental plots had been installed in 2010. Plant cover was visually estimated using four 75 x 100 cm survey frames. Each site contained a two plots measuring 1.5 by 2.0 meteres: a control plot and a plot covered by a shelter that excluded 35% of incoming precipitation. Plots were selected to represent shallow vs. deep soils, sandstone vs. shale parent material, and dominant plant species on the Colorado Plateau around Moab, Utah. We used an information theoretic approach using generalized linear models to determine the combination of [...]


Point of Contact :
Erika L Geiger
Originator :
Michael C Duniway, Erika L Geiger, David Hoover
Metadata Contact :
Erika L Geiger
Publisher :
U.S. Geological Survey
Distributor :
U.S. Geological Survey - ScienceBase
SDC Data Owner :
Southwest Biological Science Center
USGS Mission Area :

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The purpose of these data are to understand the vulnerability of common native species of the Colorado Plateau to increased aridity. Specifically, these data can be used to forecast which species will be most vulnerable to drought-induced mortality and how vulnerability is exacerbated by the presence of invasive species. Nearly 400 individual plants were tracked throughout the duration of the experiment and mortality data were evaluated in the context of the relative contribution of treatments, interannual-climate variability, and species identity to determine drought-susceptibility in these dryland systems. The importance of multiple abiotic and biotic factors in driving responses to drought can also be tested, including elevation, soil depth, and parent material, as well as biotic interactions with biocrusts and invasive species.


The author(s) of these data request that data users contact them regarding intended use and to assist with understanding limitations and interpretation. Unless otherwise stated, all data, metadata and related materials are considered to satisfy the quality standards relative to the purpose for which the data were collected. Although these data and associated metadata have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and approved for release by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data for other purposes, nor on all computer systems, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty.

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DOI doi:10.5066/P90C8ORJ

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